C Trumpets for a Trumpet Player, whats the use?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jerec576, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. jerec576

    jerec576 Pianissimo User

    Feb 12, 2009
    Miami, Fl
    Alright, in discussion with my band director today, he mentioned (highly recommended) that I should purchase a C trumpet. Specifically because its an orchestral requirement for any trumpet player and that it allows one to better musically develop. As an interested student looking to conservatorial schools, he noted that in his college (U of M), Guilbert Johnson required that all of his students had and played C trumpets.

    Whats the purpose to having one? Is it a necessary step?
  2. HSOtrumpet1

    HSOtrumpet1 Pianissimo User

    Nov 28, 2008
    Yes, if you are going to be an orchestra player.

    Most of the orchestra music, is, I think, made for "c" trumpets once you get past a high school level.

    A "c" horn just also fits well with an orchestra sound wise, it must have a more cutting kind of sound or something, because all major orchestra players use them a lot.
  3. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    It is the accepted trumpet in the orchestras here in the states. In Europe they seem to be using Bbs.
  4. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    A c has a little more secure slots, and the sound is a little different. It made it easier to start transposing a lot.
    Regardless, it seems to be the standard horn for US orchestras, at a lot of levels
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The C will, in general, get a more compact sound than the Bb, and learning to play a C trumpet teaches us to play in tune.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Musical development has NOTHING to do with a C trumpet. It is a hunk of brass and just like any other wind instrument the PLAYER brings it to life.

    It is the standard instrument for first trumpet players (sometimes second too) in American orchestras. It provides different "colors" than Bb trumpets do and in the orchestral literature can arguably provide a greater amount of security. Due to the fact that the bell is not braced as far forward, the C generally has a more brilliant sound than a Bb which lets the player get a bit of "brazenness" before it becomes unbearably loud.

    Gilbert Johnson was the solo trumpet player at the Philadelphia Orchestra for many years. His playing there can be summed up in one word: elegant. For this time of year; I can heartily recommend the Christmas recording by the Philadelphia Brass Quintet. It is a VERY orchestral take on popular Christmas music. It is what Glory and Power were about one generation ago! It will give you an idea about what intimate C trumpet playing can be like!
  7. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    This quote should be a sticky.

    I thing transposing is a little easier starting from C. At least for me.
    The sound on my C is a little lighter.
  8. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    From a "development" standpoint I think the C trumpet is a good introduction to smaller horns. The blow and effort required to stay in tune is different on a C than on a Bb or flugel. From there the move to D, Eb, or piccolo can be less daunting.
  9. Masterwannabe

    Masterwannabe Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 11, 2009
    One other point about trumpets designed in a key other than Bb. setting aside the fact that the composer wrote a piece of music for the effect he/she wanted, some pieces will lay better on a different keyed instrument, taking account of fingering in particular.

    It also comes to mind that asking the question "what's the use" here might be compared to asking why drive a Cadillac as opposed to a Volkswagon

    If you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter how you get there.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I think most composers have a PLAYER and their style in mind, not a key of trumpet.

    If we look at most of the music before 1900, it was written transposed because that was the tradition. Try playing a Mahler or Bruckner Symphony on a low F trumpet (I have one that I play regularly and tried this out during a rehearsal - now I know why Bb trumpets were invented!).

    I think the first instrument is the Bb, then flugel or picc then a C trumpet. My opinion. You can earn money with the picc to finance the rest.

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